Open Door: Selected Stories

Open Door: Selected Stories

by Valenzuela, David Unger, Margaret Sayers Peden, Christopher Leland, Helen Lane

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection gathers stories from Clara and Strange Things Happen Here, as well as 14 others appearing for the first time in English. All 32 pieces glow with Valenzuela's piercing blend of mysticism and reality. Some tales clearly refer to the past political situation in her native Argentina, such as ``The Censors,'' in which Juan obtains a job as a postal censor simply to intercept a letter he has written, but becomes so caught up in the meaningless suppression that he censors his own letter and incriminates himself. Most often, though, Valenzuela strikes a provocative, surreal balance between the political and the spiritual, as in the quietly astonishing ``Strange Things Happen Here'': the penniless Mario and Pedro happily imagine that the abandoned briefcase and jacket they've discovered are filled with money, only to have the windfalls mysteriously transformed into unbearable millstones. Valenzuela also impresses when she abandons the political and creates bittersweet peasant fables, such as the final ``The Minstrels.'' However, her experimental, somewhat vaguethough still well-craftedstories, like ``Cat's Eye,'' are less successful. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
These 14 new and 18 previously collected stories should confirm this Argentine's status as one of the most astounding fiction writers of our time. Many of the new stories take place where people waitfor rebirth, a messiah, waterand they introduce characters of sorts rarely encountered in current fiction. Androgynous twins, a malicious lighthouse keeper, a self-condemning censor all are portrayed with sensuous intelligence, their lives and lands described in a style resonant with tensions as basic as the separation and rejoining of opposites. Readers willing to participate in the creation of these challenging talesone of which, though only five pages, includes ten endingswill have their effort richly rewarded.Ethan Bumas, Fudan Univ., Shanghai

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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